Family School Partnerships
Family-School partnerships bring together district leaders, school staff, and families to identify barriers to family engagement and specific child health needs, then work together to develop, implement, and evaluate effective and equitable solutions.
Importance of Family School Partnerships
Family-School Partnerships incorporate academic and social education in two of the most impactful environments in a child’s life: School and Home. When school staff, families, and community members work together to create healthy, safe, and supportive learning environments for their children, academic achievement and educational equity are improved immensely.
Family-School Partnerships are an essential part of understanding what families and students need from their schools in order to live healthy and happy lives in their communities. Action for Healthy Kids functions with Family-School partnerships at the center of our work because we know that childhood healthy habits and lifestyles are driven by the adults and environments in which our children are raised. Action for Healthy Kids works to mobilize school staff and families to work collaboratively on school health programming and policy change.
Building and Maintaining Family School Partnerships
When building family-school partnerships, there are four components to ensure that sustainable and effective partnerships evolve. Based on your role, identify actions you can take to support these components – independently or in collaboration with others.
- Inclusive Culture. An inclusive culture honors the lived experience of families in the school community and uses these experiences to drive practice and policy.
- Trusting Relationships. Trusting relationships enable families and schools to work together to improve education and health outcomes for kids.
- Capacity-Building Opportunities. Capacity building opportunities for staff and families promote opportunities for school staff and parents to be equally involved in leadership roles and other responsibilities related to child education and health outcomes.
- Dedication of Resources. Dedication of resources ensures that the necessary time, money, and information are spent on making family-school partnerships the epicenter of school health programs.
Resources and Getting Started
Get started on building or strengthening family-school partnerships in your school community by working to build a foundation of trust between school staff and families and using our Collaborating for Healthy Schools: AFHK Collaboration Guide. Find this, our 6-step process, and additional resources below to turn your vision into action!
- Collaborating for Healthy Schools: AFHK Collaboration Guide (Action for Healthy Kids)
- 6-Steps for Healthier Schools (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Building Family-School Partnerships through Nutrition Education (en español) (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Building Family-School Partnerships through Physical Activity (en español) (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Building Family-School Partnerships through Social Emotional Learning (en español) (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (Dual Capacity)
- Family Engagement Playbook (Global Family Research Project)
- Family-School-Community Partnership Framework (Colorado Department of Education)
- Parents for Healthy Schools (CDC)
- Standards for Successful Family-School Partnerships (National PTA)
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